Health insurance has become a very important part of our lives. Why? There are two reasons actually. One, the healthcare costs are touching the roof. Two, the incidence of diseases and ailments have increased. So, when a disease strikes and you seek medical attention you end up draining your savings if you don’t have a health insurance plan in place. So, yes, a health plan is essential.

When choosing a health insurance plan few things should be remembered. One, all the family members should be covered optimally. Two, the premium should be affordable. How do you achieve this balance? Ideally you should consider your family structure and compare health insurance policies before buying them. Let’s see how you should choose the best health plan for your family:

  • A young couple

If you are a young married couple without children you should consider a health plan with maternity cover. The coverage amount should be between Rs.5 lakhs to Rs.10 lakhs. Since you are a young couple, your resultant premiums would be low.

  • A couple with kids

If you have kids, your health plan should cover them too. Since the number of members has increased, the cover amount should too. An ideal coverage for your family should lie somewhere between Rs.7 lakhs and Rs.15 lakhs. If affordability is a factor, you can opt for family floater top-up plans. These plans enhance the coverage while keeping the premium low.

  • A couple with older kids

Every family floater health plan covers children only up to 25 years (maximum). Beyond this age, the children are assumed to be independent and can afford their own coverage. If you have a floater plan covering them, remember that they would be excluded beyond the maximum age. In this case, the premium would come down as only you and your spouse are covered. Another thing to remember is the pre-existing waiting period. Since you must be in your middle-ages, a plan with low waiting period should be your preferred choice.

  • Family including dependent parents

If your family also has dependent parents, their coverage should not be included in your health plan. Family floater plans compute premiums based on the age of the oldest member. Since your parent’s age would be considered in premium computation, the resultant figure would be unreasonably high. So, buy a floater plan for your spouse and kids and another separate senior citizen floater plan for your parents. Your floater plan should have low waiting period and the senior citizen plan should have no or minimal waiting period.

After you have selected the best cover for your family, the next step is to compare. Compare health insurance policy is available in the market before you finalize the cheapest. Here’s a quick look at the approximate premium payable for varying family types if you select the best suited health plan:

Family Type Coverage features Ideal Sum Assured (SA) range Approximate premium for the said SA range
Young couple A health plan with maternity benefits Rs.5-10 lakhs Rs.5000 to Rs.10,000 for eldest member being 30 years old
Family with young kids A health plan with all the basic coverage features Rs.7 – 15 lakhs Rs.13,000 to Rs.20,000 for eldest member being 35 years old
Family with older kids A health plan with all the basic coverage features and low waiting periods for pre-existing illnesses Rs.7-12 lakhs Rs.20,000 to Rs.23,000 for eldest member being 45 years old
Family including dependent parents A floater plan covering self, spouse and children. Another senior citizen plan for dependent parents with low or no waiting period for pre-existing illnesses Rs.7-15 lakhs for own floater plan and Rs.5-10 lakhs for parent’s senior citizen floater plan Own floater plan where eldest member is 40 years old – Rs.18,000 to Rs.23,000

Senior Citizen plan where eldest parent’s age is 60 years – Rs.24,000 to Rs.30,000

Buying the cheapest health plan is possible only if you buy the correct plan after you have compared between the various plans available. Choose a plan based on your family size and members covered. Opt a sufficient level of coverage and secure all your family members under the plan. You never know which member would require medical assistance, do you?